Barbara's Beat No. 17


We are now just 12 months out from the next General Election.
Since Labour took office in 2017, we’ve been keeping score, and the report card to date shows the failures are far outweighing the successes.
If elected in 2023, our first 100 days will be busy, repealing many of the policies and laws Labour has either put in place or is trying to.
Among the things we will scrap:

  • Three Waters;
  • The proposed merger of Radio New Zealand and Television New Zealand;
  • Fair Pay Agreements;
  • Income Insurance Scheme, which we call a straight ‘jobs tax’
  • The top income tax rate of 39% for income above $180,000;
  • The Clean Car Discount or ‘Ute Tax’;
  • The Plain Language Act;
  • The Bright Line Test extension;
  • Auckland Regional Fuel Tax.
We would reinstate the Three Strikes law.
To mark Labour’s fifth year in power we’ve launched a poll so you can choose, out of what we think are the top five epic fails, the worst.

They are:
  • Cost of living crisis - inflation is currently running at 7.2%, far higher than economists predicted. Everything, across the board, costs more.
  • Health - since Labour removed targets, the national average of patients waiting longer than six hours in emergency departments has gone from fewer than 1 in 10 when National left government, to 1 in 4 under Labour.
  • Education - two-thirds of Year 10 students have failed basic numeracy and literacy standards and 100,000 students were chronically absent in Term One. 
  • Housing - Labour promised 10,000 KiwiBuild houses, and five years on they’ve only built 1.4% of that. Meanwhile, the state house waitlist has increased by more than 20,000 under Labour’s watch.
  • Crime – ram-raids are up 518% since 2018 and there are more than 8000 gang members in New Zealand, a 50 per cent increase since Labour came to power in 2017.
 What do you think? Vote here.
Paying the price
As taxpayers, we now have a government that is spending $1 billion more every week, than it did in 2017. A government that is also collecting $33 billion more in tax every year.
The numbers involved are mind-boggling and often too big for people to comprehend as prices rise twice as fast as wages.

Numbers, like this random sample:
  • Rents have increased on average, by $140 per week ($7280 a year), while weekly mortgage payments are now $300 higher ($15,600 a year);
  • A 20% deposit on an average home is up $60,000 to $160,000;
  • Spending $586 million to restructure our health system during a pandemic, plus $168 million for a separate Māori Health Authority;
  • $35 million subsidising people to buy electric vehicles;
  • $24 million on Kainga Ora office renovations;
  • $2.75 million for the Mongrel Mob to run a meth rehab programme;
  • $51 million on a cancelled Auckland cycle bridge, including $500,000 on an empty waterfront office.
Just pointing out where our government's spending priorities go awry.
If those numbers aren’t bad enough, consider these examples — there are hundreds of families living in cars; hundreds more are living in motels costing $1 million a day; less than half of our children are going to school regularly, while the number of children not receiving any education has doubled to 8500. More than 200,000 Kiwis are sitting on health-related wait lists.
Yet despite poor service delivery, we now have 14,000 more public servants.
Labour has been in Government for five years, but all they have achieved is more spending for worse outcomes. 
This is the most wasteful and incompetent Government in New Zealand history.
Something for everyone to remember when we head to the polls in 2023.
Questions & Answers
In Opposition we have the opportunity to ask Ministers questions through Written Parliamentary Questions. Below are examples of recent questions asked regarding the proposed farm-level emissions pricing plan.
Astonishingly, the replies highlight the Government’s modelling did not analyse regional impacts of farm-level emission pricing.
Nor did they analyse the impact on-farm, if methane inhibitor technologies are not available, to help farmers reduce emissions.
Portfolio: Agriculture (Hon Damien O'Connor)
Question: What analysis, if any, has been done on the impacts of the Government's proposed farm-level emissions pricing system on the Southland, West Coast, East Coast and Northland economies; and if any, does this analysis take into account indirect costs like flow-on effects through the economy of cuts to farmer income?
Reply: The modelling commissioned by government did not analyse regional impacts.
Portfolio: Agriculture (Hon Damien O'Connor)
Question: How, if at all, is cutting dairy, beef and lamb production consistent with the principles of safeguarding food production in the Paris Agreement?
Reply: The best way to safeguard food security, is to contribute to the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels. The Government’s proposal to encourage reductions in New Zealand agricultural emissions is a key element of New Zealand’s Nationally Determined Contribution to this goal under the Paris Agreement.
Portfolio: Agriculture (Hon Damien O'Connor)
Question: What analysis, if any, has been done on the impacts of the Government's proposed farm-level emissions pricing system if new methane inhibitors aren’t available?
Reply: This was not an assumption in the modelling commissioned by government. The economic modelling focuses on impacts in 2030. Officials considered this would be sufficient time for methane inhibitors to be ready.